PARCHMENT, Mich. (WOOD) — At least two troops of Boy Scouts in West Michigan have become the victim of a new kind of crime, costing them thousands of dollars in stolen equipment.
The thieves have targeted troops in Lansing, Warren and Kalamazoo County.
“Last January, our scout master came home from his work and found that our trailer had been stolen from his driveway, his property,” said Kevin Linders, assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scouts Troop 265 of Galesburg.
It was a similar story in Parchment.
“We came to our normal meeting on Monday and the trailer was gone,” said Zachary Cushman, an Eagle Scout with Troop 218 of Parchment.
The act is as brazen as it sounds. The perpetrators scout out trailers, hook them up to trucks, and roll away with gear and memories.
In Parchment, the thieves went to the church where Troop 218’s trailer was parked and took it.
“We were very upset because we’re a small troop,” said Molly Morgan, assistant scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 218 of Parchment. “And it was just devastating.”
Not only is the troop out about $10,000 in tents, cots, tables and other camping gear, they may be forced to cancel next month’s annual camping trip.
“I’m stressed, anxious, nervous,” said Cushman. “What happened to this?”
“Scouting is such a great program that you wonder who are the kind of people who are doing this?” Linders said.
Troop 265 leaders say there was something gained in their loss.
“This is actually a teachable moment for us, when we lost our trailer, because we talk to kids about the program and building good values and developing good character and following the scout program,” said Linders.
Troop 218 has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to replace the stolen trailer and equipment.